Wednesday, March 05, 2008

More Farm Bill

I couldn’t agree more with Xtra concerning the Farm Bill, it desperately needs to be reformed from its current state in which the primary beneficiaries are corporate agribusinesses and the politicians they support.

And the funny part is that both right-leaning groups like the Heritage Foundation and left-leaning groups like the Center for American Progress concur on the need for the common-sense reforms that have been snubbed decade after decade.

For more info about the Farm Bill check out the lobbying work that Oxfam America has been doing in an effort to bring about reforms.


xtrachromosomeconservative said...

my question: is there a basis for subsidizing ag at all? I recognize that cutting off the subsidies full stop would cause quite a bit of hardship for the "family farm" (though i do wonder to what extent the family farm is at this point a hobby for the wealthy) but shouldn't the end goal be to phase out farm subsidies over time?

Anti-Everything said...

I would agree that you are exactly right about the long-term goal of phasing out farm subsidies over time. The only reason I would see for subsidizing ag would be if those subsidies went to farmers who willing take part in farming activities that foster greater environmental sustainability, such as techniques that protect top soil or that limit negative farming repercussions such as fertilizer and chemical run off, and these activities cause a greater expense to the farmer.

These same ends could be achieved though in a much better way if the government would instead implement green fees on such things as pesticides and fertilizer which would allow the consumer to decide by choosing the less expensive product once the full environmental cost is included with the commodity cost.

xtrachromosomeconservative said...

I wonder how necessary a "sustainable farming" subsidy would be if you took away the current subsidies for production which results in the excessive cultivation of land and putting an excessive amount of land into cultivation. To the extent that pesticides and fertilizers are problematic you could just tax them. I agree with you there.